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'Presidential candidates should declare assets'

Ahead of the July 19 presidential election, a think tank on Tuesday said presidential candidates should be asked to declare their assets.

The National Election Watch [NEW] has written to the Election Commission asking it to ensure that candidates for the posts of president and vice-president came out with their assets.

'Since a 2003 judgment of the Supreme Court directing the Election Commission to get background information on criminal records, assets, liabilities, education, all candidates contesting parliament or assembly elections have to give this declaration,' it said.

'Most state election commissions have also implemented it. However, there is no such declaration in force for the presidential election.'

Backing the demand are former chief election commissioners N Gopalaswami and T S Krishnamurthy.

'The EC should extend this requirement to the elections to the office of the president and vice president. It is in the fitness of things that all elected offices in the country, from the lowest level to the highest, are brought within the same discipline,' said Gopalaswami.

Krishnamurthy said: 'The Election Commission can extend the logic to require these candidates to file the affidavits in the interest of free and fair election.'
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